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Updated April 14, 2014
Added Coffin Corner Volume 36 Number 1

All-America Football Conference Committee
Updated February 22, 2014
Updated Hal Herring death information

Committees
Updated December 15, 2013
Added Education Committee

Oral History Committee
Updated June 29, 2013
Added Sam Salemi and Ernie Warlick

Hall of Very Good Committee
Updated June 2, 2013
Added Press Release

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PFRA Calendar:

June 6-8, 2014. PFRA Bi-Annual Meeting. Cleveland, OH.

June 10-12, 2016. PFRA Bi-Annual Meeting. Green Bay, WI.

WHAT'S IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE COFFIN CORNER (Volume 36, Number 1):
(Due to the membership by May 31, 2014)
(Available for Immediate Download in the Members Only section)

Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame Tribute (Photo Essay) - Mark Palczewski. The PFRA's official photographer was on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium last fall as members of the Bills' Wall of Fame were honored.

PFRA-ternizing - Chris Willis. The new executive director of the PFRA delivers his annual report to the members and looks ahead to the new year.

2014 PFRA Meeting - George Bozeka. This year's meeting organizer fills us in on the events scheduled for the biennial get-together in Cleveland on June 6-7.

Belichick & Bernie in Cleveland - Roger Gordon. A tale of a difficult relationship between a declining hero of Ohio and an ambitious young coach in his first head coaching gig.

A Brief History of Sacks - Nick Webster. An analysis of pass rushers from 1982 up to 2011, that includes a formula and data to compare defensive players who played at different times in the official sack era.

Fit to be Tied - Dr. David B. Pushkin. A response to Mark L. Ford's article entitled The Ties that Bound in which it is argued that the NFL should return to the pre-1973 rules regarding overtime.

 

Official Photos from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies

 

First Meeting of the Philadelphia Local Chapter of the PFRA

Left to Right: Nick Webster, Keith Yowell, Chris Willis, John Maxymuk, Ken Crippen, Mark Palczewski, Rich Flowers

 

BOOKS PUBLISHED BY PFRA FOOTBALL PUBLICATIONS:


The Early History of Professional Football - by Professional Football Researchers Association. One volume edition of the Early History of Professional Football. Starting with the origins of American Football from ancient times to the development of the sport in Western Pennsylvania (1890-1903) and all the way through the 1919 pro football season, a year before the the NFL was formed, the Early History of Professional Football is a very detailed look back at the beginnings of America's favorite sport. Written and edited by the members of the Professional Football Researchers Association.


A Minor Masterpiece - by Bob Gill. A one-volume edition of the original two-volume PFRA publication, this book tells the story of the longest-running minor league of its era: the American Association, which existed from 1936-41, closed for the duration of World War II, then returned in 1946 renamed the American Football League. The season-by-season history also includes 1942, when several of the league’s teams kept playing as part of an independent circuit in the Northeast. The account of each season includes text, standings, statistical leaders, line scores for all games, rosters for each team, and a new feature in this edition, game-by-game lineups.

 

RECENT FOOTBALL BOOKS BY PFRA MEMBERS:
The 1954 Montreal Alouettes: Big Four Champions and Almost Grey Cup Champions - by Brian Marshall with Forewards by Mark Cohon, Larry Smith, Doug McNichol, Joe Pal and Jerry Hogan. The story of the 1954 Montreal Alouettes is an interesting one, it is the story of a team that achieved so much yet fell short of the ultimate prize but it is also the story of a great team, with many great players, that played in a great city during arguably the greatest time to be a Montreal sports fan. The Larks were the 800 pound gorilla that stomped through the Big Four jungle, leaving a path of destruction throughout the 14 game regular season in the form of clear superiority and domination. It was the smash-mouth, in your face brand of football that Coach Peahead Walker was looking for since he came to the Montreal Alouettes in 1952 but unfortunately didn't have enough of the pieces in place at the time and the team had a dismal season.

America's Passion: How a Coal Miner's Game Became the NFL in the 20th Century - by Evan Weiner. The National Football League is the premier sport in the United States. But it always wasn't that way. Author Evan Weiner takes us back to the days when the NFL was a mom and pop store operation with the players and others who witnessed the league's growth first hand. The game started in the coal mines in western Pennsylvania and is a multi-billion dollar business today.


...and a dollar short: The Empty Promises, Broken Dreams, and Somewhat-Less-Than-Comic Misadventures of the 1974 Florida Blazers - by Mark Speck. It's a great unwritten story that has finally been written! It's an unforgettable story that shouldn't be forgotten!! It's a story of triumph, loyalty, sacrifice and just plain old stubbornness. It's a story of men overcoming almost overwhelming odds and a laundry-list of hardships, problems, and distractions that never turned them from their ultimate goal, the league championship. The Blazers went through two owners, four cities, and seven nicknames before the team even played its first game. Their owners squabbled between themselves and ultimately sued each other. A city that didn't seem to want them and fans that didn't seem to care. They were a collection of men who trusted each other led by a head coach who trusted them all. Through it all, the Blazers won more games and a division title that no one predicted they'd win. The story of the 1974 Florida Blazers of the ill-fated World Football League is one that has almost been lost to the passage of time. But once you read this almost-forgotten tale, you will never forget it.

The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia: Every Player, Coach and Game, 1946-2010 - by Tod Maher and Bob Gill. The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference source ever published on the game of Canadian football. This book is teeming with information and statistics for each of the 8,310 players who have played in the modern-era of the Canadian Football League. The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia goes beyond the players with game scores, historical highlights, standings, team statistics and the records of the game’s head coaches.

The Cookie That Did Not Crumble - by Cookie Gilchrist and Chris Garbarino. The Biography of Canadian Football League and American Football League superstar Cookie Gilchrist. The book covers his triumphs on the gridiron with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, as well as his record setting days with the Buffalo Bills of the AFL. Cookie's football prowess also brought him a front row seat to many historic events during the 1960s, which are chronicled within the book. In addition to covering Cookie's exploits on the field the book highlights his battles off the field for civil rights and player health benefits, while giving insight into his personal fight with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE as it is commonly known.

Football in Italy: First Steps - by Fausto Batella. The first Italian American Football League story, 10 years of passions, deeds and impossible dreams, with Lamar Hunt, Bob Kap, Bruno Beneck and Robert Carey. The milestones: 1972 Intercontinental Football League; 1973 IFL Roman Gladiators; 1979 Italian Football League; 1979 Rome Gladiators; The "Vince Lombardi" Stadium; 1980 & 1981 Italian Championship; Memories, scores and statistics. English and Italian text.

Game Changers: 50 Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History (50 Greatest Plays in Football History) - by Marv Levy and Jeff Miller. Jeffrey Miller has teamed up with Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy for his latest book, “Game Changers: The Greatest Plays in Buffalo Bills Football History” (Triumph). From “The Hit Heard ‘round the World” and “Big Ben” through “Wide Right” and “The Music City Miracle,” Miller and Levy relive the most unforgettable on-the-field moments in Bills history. The authors provide fascinating context for each of the plays, the back story, all the relevant circumstances, and the thoughts of many of those directly involved. Lushly illustrated with color and b&w photos that help you follow the play as it unfolds, “Game Changers” reanimates many of the most thrilling and heart-stopping moments in football.

Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men Who Integrated Pro Football, in Their Own Words - by Andy Piascik. One year before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, four black players joined the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams to become the first African-American pro football players in the modern era. Players who began their careers from 1946 to 1955 reminisce about the violence they faced on and off the field, the world of segregation and the violence it brought, but also of white players and coaches who assisted and supported their careers.

The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr - by Chris Willis. Founded in 1920, the National Football League chose famed athlete Jim Thorpe as its first president, a position he held briefly until a successor was elected. From 1921 to 1939, Joe F. Carr guided the sport of professional football with intelligence, hard work, and a passion that built the foundation of what the NFL has become: the number one sports organization in the world. During his 18-year tenure as NFL President, Carr created the organization's first Constitution & By-Laws; implemented the standard player's contract; wrote the NFL's first-ever Record and Fact Book; helped split the NFL into two divisions and establish the NFL's World Championship Game; started keeping league statistics; and developed the NFL Draft. But Carr's greatest achievement was creating a vision for the NFL as a big-city sport. By skillfully recruiting financially capable owners to operate NFL franchises in big market cities, he created the solid foundation for the league's successful future. While the sport has grown to unheard of heights, Carr's name and accomplishments have been lost and forgotten. The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr captures the life and career of this pivotal figure in professional sports, chronicling the many achievements of a man whose vision helped shaped what the NFL is today. With unlimited access and complete cooperation from the Carr family, including family interviews, personal letters, and family photos, as well as NFL League Minutes, Willis recounts the fascinating life and career of a man dedicated to the game.

Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe - by Kate Buford. A detailed biography of Jim Thorpe, one of the founders of the National Football League.

Nothing Comes Easy: My Life in Football - by Y.A. Tittle and Kristine Setting Clark. Tittle's autobiography covers his life beginning with his Marshall, Texas, schoolboy heroics, continues through his time at Louisiana State University, and includes his many years in the professional ranks. His football story culminates with the Giants climactic playoff loss to the Chicago Bears in 1963. This loss, Tittle's last chance at a championship, is captured in the Sports Illustrated Photo of the Century, showing Tittle kneeling on the field, bleeding from the head. As he describes the glorious and not so glorious games, players, life on the road, and his path after football, Tittle delivers the kind of awe-inspiring story that can only come from the man who has lived this incredible life. With a foreword written by his good friend and former teammate, Frank Gifford, Y.A.'s lively account of his life and Hall of Fame career will appeal to fans of all ages.

On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell - by Bob Lyons. Bert Bell, a native of Philadelphia, has been called the most powerful executive figure in the history of professional football. He was responsible for helping to transform the game from a circus sideshow into what has become the most popular spectator sport in America. In On Any Given Sunday, the first biography of this important sports figure, historian Robert Lyons recounts the remarkable story of how de Benneville “Bert” Bell rejected the gentility of a high society lifestyle in favor of the tougher gridiron, and rose to become the founder of the Philadelphia Eagles and Commissioner of the National Football League.

The Original Buffalo Bills: A History of the All-America Football Conference Team - by Kenneth R. Crippen. The Buffalo Bills of the National Football League are known for having a fervent fan base, but the city's love affair with their football team dates back more than half a century. As members of the fledgling All-America Football Conference, the Buffalo Bills were one of the strongest teams in the league in 1948 and 1949, their final years of play. The team had such an impact on the city and on professional football that current franchise owner Ralph Wilson, when searching for a home for his American Football League team, settled in Buffalo and named the team in honor of the original Bills.

Outsiders II: Minor League and Independent Football 1951-1985 - by Bob Gill, Steve Brainerd and Tod Maher. Following the pattern set with Outsiders I (which covered 1923-1950), this volume covers the independent minor leagues of professional football from 1951 through 1985. Only semipro leagues existed after 1985, and so the two volumes of Outsiders cover the complete history of 20th century football below the National Football League. Many players in these leagues played in the hope that they might get a chance to move up to the NFL and many achieved that dream. This volume contains histories and yearly statistical summaries for the top minor leagues of the period, plus the World Football League, which has a claim to major league status, and the United States Football League, which was clearly a major league. It also includes yearly summaries for the best of the lesser leagues, which featured a good number of interesting players in their own right.

Pro Football Championships Before the Super Bowl - by Joe Page. While the NFL Super Bowl has become a worldwide cultural event, the annual league championship games had a long history even before the first Super Bowl in January, 1967. From the first American Football League's attempt to settle the league title on the gridiron in 1926 to the separate NFL and AFL championships of the 1965 season, this history offers a narrative of each game, including line-ups, box scores, and team statistics.

Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans: Profiles of Fans Honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame With the Visa Hall of Fans Award - by Harvey Aronson. Professional football is the most popular sport in the United States today. With so many famous players from the past and present, some of whom achieved notoriety because of a persona they created, there are fans who have also made a name for themselves by either their work and loyalty for their team, or by creating an "alter ego" with respect to how they cheer or support their team. In 1998, Visa sponsored a national contest to find the wildest, most loyal, and most intriguing fans for each team in the league. The award was entitled, "The Visa Hall of Fans" Award as fans were chosen from each team based on their submitted essays and photos.

The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia - by Tod Maher and Bob Gill. The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia is the ultimate guide to the history of the National Football League playoffs . From the landmark first NFL championship game in 1933 to Super Bowl XLV, The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia gives you unprecedented details of every playoff game. No other source — in print or online — can match The Pro Football Playoff Encyclopedia.

Quarterback Abstract - by John Maxymuk. Each quarterback's statistical information is presented here, from his scoring totals to his draft status and personal information. Author John Maxymuk has devised a sophisticated rating system that compares the quarterbacks across the decades. Who were they? What were their playing styles? How good were they? A full spectrum of numerical data is presented, from passing and rushing data to fourth-quarter game-winning-drive totals and won-lost records. Maxymuk also provides incisive analysis and interesting anecdotes, fleshing out each field general's personality.

 

WHAT'S BEING DONE BY PFRA COMMITTEES:
All-America Football Conference Committee

Central and Northern New York Committee

Hall of Very Good Committee

Football Geography Committee

Pre-NFL Pro Football Committee

Western New York Committee

Rochester Jeffersons Subcommittee

Oral History Committee

Television Commentators Committee

Uniforms of Past Teams Committee

USFL Committee

WFL Committee

 

OTHER NOTABLE WORK BY PFRA MEMBERS:
20YardLine.com

Buffalo All-Americans/Bisons Historical Society

Football Project

Fourth and Goal

Ghosts of the Gridiron

Gridiron Greats Magazine

Hickock Sports

Leatherheads of the Gridiron

Official Site of the Dayton Triangles

Philly Sports Stories

Pro Football Archives

Rock Island Independents

Steelers Hotline

Vintage Football Card Gallery

WFL Football Cards


 
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